(Excerpts From TheChurchNews.com)
A recent study conducted by researchers at Brigham Young University examined the key role that the workplace plays in a father’s ability to be a nurturing and available presence in their children’s lives. For many Latter-day Saint fathers, improved workplace flexibility might help them better magnify their eternal roles as loving, gospel-driven caregivers.
Erin Holmes, the study’s lead researcher and a BYU family life professor, knows well the importance of work-life balance for today’s fathers. More and more, it is a key element in their professional careers.
“Men still think providing for their family is an important part of the work they do as a father, but they also want to be connected to their children and involved in their children’s lives,” she said.
She and her fellow BYU researchers expected to find that job flexibility and a family-friendly workplace would benefit fathers who already valued shared parenting and embraced more egalitarian gender roles.
“What we didn’t expect was how much job flexibility and a family-friendly workplace would benefit fathers who were actually more traditional in their gender roles and fathering attitudes,” said Holmes. “We think that is perhaps the most important finding: Dads who are more ‘traditional’ in their fatherhood role benefited most from a flexible workplace.”
To illustrate: A traditional father without a flexible workplace is likely to engage with his children a few times a month. “But a father with those same kinds of traditional beliefs — but with a flexible workplace — actually reported being engaged with his kids almost every day.”
For Latter-day Saint fathers who believe their role as a parent is an eternal calling, a flexible workplace can be a blessing for families and employers alike.
The research from this study was published in the Journal of Family Psychology.